Welcome to OTRCAT.com: Old Time Radio Catalog

Old Time Radio FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

If your questions isn't answered below, please email order@otrcat.com

radio tubes

HOW-TO Tutorials:

How to play shows on your PC:

How to play shows on your Apple Macintosh:

How To Order:

Three ways to order your favorite Old Time Radio:

1. AUDIO CDs are only $5.00 per disk and contain up to 72 minutes of old time radio shows (or two 30-minute episodes) and play in any standard car or home stereo CD player.

2. MP3 CDs are only $5.00 per disk and are full of hours and hours of great old time radio shows in the MP3 format (which must be played in a computer or special MP3 player device.)  You'll also have instant access to stream and download your shows from your account once your paid CD order is received.

3. DOWNLOAD ONLY option is only $5 per volume.  Our entire catalog is now also available to "download only"--no CDs, no mail, no waiting!  You can also choose a free sampler collection to download with your order.  Once your paid order is complete, you'll have instant access to stream the individual episodes or download the entire collection as a .zip file in your account.

 The OTRCAT.com website automatically accepts orders internationally in US funds for:

  • Credit Card (Mastercard, Visa, AMEX or Discover including any debit card with those logos)
  • PayPal
  • Check, Cash or Money Order through the mail for US funds

From the future: a radio printing out paper!The fastest way to place your order is with your credit card or paypal using our secure (SSL 128-bit encrypted) shopping cart by simplying clicking the ADD TO CART button on any product page.

If you would prefer order by mail, please use the OTRCAT shopping cart to confirm your order and price and select the "Check or Money Order Option" on checkout. Once your order is confirmed, OTRCAT will email you a confirmation with an order number and total price including shipping costs.  As soon as your payment is received, you will be notified via email and your CDs will be shipped out (usually same day or within 24 hours). If all else fails and if you have trouble with the online shopping cart, click here for an order form you can printout and send payment by mail

If you have any trouble completing your order or have questions: email order@otrcat.com or write:

PO BOX 19234

How do I get a free sampler CD?

There are now eleven free sampler cd's to choose from when you submit your order. Each sampler MP3 CD has 100+ episodes from all various old time radio shows from all different series. On checkout, you will be prompted to choose any FREE SAMPLER CD to be included in your order!  If you place an order for DOWNLOAD ONLY instead of AUDIO CD or MP3 CDs, you'll have access to stream/download a sampler cd of your choice with your order rather than receiving a CD through the mail.

Sampler #1 Sampler #2 Sampler #3Sampler #4Sampler #5Sampler #6Sampler #7Sampler #8Sampler #9Sampler #10Sampler #11

What are shipping costs:


OTRCAT ships promptly to the Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and worldwide!
There are no shipping costs for instant DOWNLOAD ONLY, but CD orders typically ship out within 24 hours.

For an order of...Shipping to USA / Worldwide
$5.00 (1 CD) $3.00 (first-class / airmail)
$10.00 - 49.00 (2 - 9 CDs)
$5.75 (priority mail / airmail)
$50.00 or more (10 or more CDs)
FREE! (priority mail / airmail)

Expect Fast Delivery from OTRCAT.comOrders ship promptly - often within 24 hours of receipt of payment. Once in transit:

  • Orders of 1 CD (shipped via first class mail) should arrive within a week.
  • Orders of 2+ CDs (shipped via priority mail) should arrive within 2-3 days.
  • International order delivery times do vary, but typically arrive via airmail within 7-14 days.

What is MP3?

More than 50 times as many shows can be stored on an MP3 disk than a standard audio CD, but MP3 recordings must be played on your computer or special MP3 player device.
Watch a brief video about the MP3 format:

Why Collect Old Time Radio Shows in MP3 format?

Listening to old time radio is easier than ever at OTRCAT.com.  Our entire catalog is now also available on "download only"--no CDs, no mail, no waiting!  With your paid order, you'll have instant access to your old time radio shows online.  

Our full catalog of old time radio shows is available for order in three formats:

 1.) Audio CDs: Easy: plays in regular CD players. Still have access to online content
 2.) MP3 CDs: Affordable: Mp3 discs play in your computer disc drive and many MP3 players. Still have access to online content
 3.) Download Only: Save money! Online only, no CDs, no mail, no wait!

If you're reading this webpage on your computer with a CD drive, you already have everything you need to enjoy OTRCAT MP3 CDs; they are guaranteed to play on your computer.  

Saving your old time radio show collection in the MP3 format is a great way to save old time radio shows for easy listening.MP3 is a sound compression format that allows up to 50+ hours of old time radio shows on just one MP3 CD compared to just 1 hour of recordings on an audio CD.  

Just one OTRCAT MP3 CD is the equivalent of 50+ audio cds!

With the introduction of MP3 technology (in 1997), collections of old time radio shows that once filled rooms on reel-to-reel, cassettes, and transcription disks can now be stored on a small stack of MP3 CDs.

MP3 is an acronym which stands for Mpeg 1 Audio Layer 3. Because the lower fidelity of the original vintage recordings, there is miniscule loss of sound quality due to MP3 compression.

These disks play in your computer and many special MP3 player device.

While you're waiting for the archival quality CDs to arrive: OTRCAT make listening to old time radio easier than ever with instant download access to your paid old time radio show order. Return customers can login to your account and stream or download all the shows you have ordered from us online -- free!

MP3 CD Value Example from Mr. Alan Ladd:

The 52 episodes of BOX 13 that fit on one Mp3 CD for $5.00 would require 26 audio cds to store the same shows! ($130.00)

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2015 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved-Reproduction is prohibited.

Quick facts about OTRCAT MP3 CD's:

Storing radio shows on MP3 cd is great!

What is old time radio (OTR) and where does it come from?

Atwater Kent Radio

OTR stands for Old Time Radio. Old Time radio shows were popular during the early to mid 20ths century and there was a radio set in almost every home in America. Classic radio recordings are highly entertaining for both old and young listeners.

The term old time radio encompasses radio recordings made usually between the mid 1920's through 1960. This "golden age of radio" included all genres of amazing recordings which were frequently performed live by top name performers.

Although much of radio history was lost (never recorded), existing episodes still in circulation were primarily stored by fans or sponsors of the program on transcription disk or reel-to-reel tapes. These recordings are encoded (converted from analog to digital format) from their original media into MP3 format for easier collecting, playback, and listening.

Old Time Radio shows are a varied group of people. Some otr fans listened to old time radio shows when they were first broadcast decades ago. However, there is a new generation of old time radio listener who is just now listening to classic old time radio recordings.


Will these old time radio shows play in my MP3/DVD player?

Probably... but it depends on what brand and model of MP3/DVD player you own.

The good news is if you're reading this webpage on your computer, you already have everything you need to enjoy OTRCAT MP3 CDs; they are guaranteed to play on your computer.

Old RadioMost of the newest generation MP3/DVD player support playing OTRCAT MP3 disks, but the MP3 CDs themselves are guaranteed to play in your computer using the program WinAmp (available for free). Many MP3 players say they will play all MP3's, but simply will not play certain MP3 bitrates. Many recordings are stored as 64kps 44khz bitrate MP3 files; if your player supports these specs, they should work fine, but not always.

For away from the computer listening, see a list of recommended MP3 players or general information about the MP3 format.

See also: how to listen to old time radio in your car.

Audio disks will play in any standard modern audio CD player at home or in your car.

What is the sound quality of these old time radio shows? What bitrate are they stored?

Radio TubeDespite inferior sound recording quality of the time period these shows were recorded, most shows' sound quality is relatively good.

Although MP3 bitrates vary from series to series, our old time radio shows are stored at 32kps 22hz to 64kps 44khz.

By today's standards, these vintage recordings are relatively low-fidelity. There is little loss of sound quality due to MP3 compression at these bitrate setting. More important than the actual bitrate of the MP3 is the quality of the original media. OTRCAT strives to encode, collect, and organize the best quality recordings available.

You can listen to a full episode from most series to sample to the sound quality online. Near the top right of a log page, there is a sample episode that you can listen to a streaming show or download the MP3 file to your computer.

OTRCAT Sampler CD #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 , #7 , #8, #9, #10, and #11 are available that contains a single episode from every series. These bonus MP3 CDs are available free of charge when you place your order online.

There are also new episodes every day on FREE OLD TIME RADIO DOWNLOADS PAGE.

Can these shows be transferred to audio cassette?

Dual MinijackYes! You can transfer the shows to audio-cassette. A dual-male minijack cord (available at any electronics's store) can easily be plugged into the back of the computer and then into a tape recording device. Just play the MP3 on your computer and press record on the tape deck.

Another alternative is a MP3 CD player and a cassette adapter (or lower power FM tuner) which is a great way to play the actual MP3 CDs in the car; please click here to see a list of recommended MP3 players.

Can MP3 shows be transferred to audio cd?

Yes - you can rewrite the MP3's onto audio CD. Just one OTRCAT MP3 CD is the equivalent of 50+ audio cds!The greatest disadvantage is that you can only fit two 30-minute episodes on a single audio CD compared to the hours that can fit on an MP3 CD.

All our collections are available for purchase on audio CD from the website, but if you'd prefer to transfer MP3 to audio cd yourself: First copy the episodes you wanted to record onto you computer hard drive and use a program such as Nero or Easy CD Creator. Using a slower write-speed (such as 2x or 4x) and CD-R media (rather than CDRW disks) will insure a more probable successful write.

As an inexpensive alternative, see the list of recommended MP3 CD players that can play the disks directly for as little as $30-$40. 

Why are the same episode listed more than once in the same series?

Even back in the golden era of radio, they had script 're-runs.' The producers of the many of the series frequently used the same popular script and rebroadcast or performed it on a later date (so it's usually the same or very similar script, but actually a different variation of the performance recorded).  Popular scripts, movies, and short stories often appeared in multiple series.

What does AFRS stand for?

AFRS labelAFRS, "Armed Forces Radio Services," began rebroadcasting favorite radio programs to troops and their family stationed over seas starting in 1942.

What does "transcribed" mean?

AFRS labelDuring the golden age of radio, most of the recordings were broadcast live.   The advent of transcription disks (recording media) and later magnetic tape allowed actors and artists to prerecord the shows for later broadcast.  During the old time radio era, the networks thought it was important to notify listeners that the recordings was "transcribed" or prerecorded.

How are these radio shows dated?

Its easy to find and read the filenames of old time radio shows which are dated as yy-mm-dd. Each series has a list of episode at the bottom of the log page and each episode is identified by the actual filenames. For example:

This MP3 file would be a broadcast of: The series "Fort Laramie", broadcast on February 5, 1956 with the episode title "Squaw Man"

The broadcast date is in the format YYMMDD. The filenames help identify the individual episodes and often contain some or many of the following information including Series, Episode number, Episode title, and Airing Date.

To maximize compatibility with as many MP3 players as possible, OTRCAT does not use ID3 tags. If corrupted, ID3 can prevents playback in certain programs and external MP3 players.

Why do the filenames appear jumbled on my Macintosh computer? (Apple System 9 Users)

Mac OS9Listeners using a Macintosh computer with System 9 or older may need a program to fully decipher the file name of the shows. A free joilet extension is available which enhances the way your Macintosh computer can read CD-ROM's. Without this joilet extension, file names may appear abbreviated which will make it harder to decipher the episode titles (although the shows will still play fine). This file name problem has been resolved in by Apple in OS X.

How are these CDs labeled?

sampler cdAll CDs come with labelled with silk-screened black lettering graphics and come in paper sleeves with clear plastic to protect them during shipping.

The radio shows are stored on Mitsui and Taiyo Yuden media which is the top quality CDR media for longest archival life.

Because the label is silk-screened directly on the disk, there is no sticky label to jam in CD drives.

Unlike inkjet printed labels, these attractive silk-screened label will not run, fade, deteriorate, or shorten the lifespan of the media.


How are these collections updated or upgraded?

OTRCAT strives to increase the variety of collection size and sound quality. If a better encode or additional episodes are located, an email newsletter is sent with new collection is available at a discount price.  

Upgraded collections are now available at up to 40% off for previous purchasers.  You can view your complete order history which shows you all the possible upgrades and discounts for your account by:

1. Login to My Account
2. Click tab: My Purchased Disks

Once you are logged in, you can also review a list of all your previous orders. If a collection has been updated since you ordered, you can buy the new updated collection at a 40% discount through your web portal login.

Do you have an old time radio app?

No iPhone or Android app is required!  Use your browser to visit the optimized OTRCAT.com website on your computer, tablet, and mobile phone.  You can order, download and stream the shows directly to your mobile device without any individual app purchase or download.

How do I get OTRCAT.com coupons?

To receive special coupon codes and discounts, please sign up for the OTRCAT newsletter which includes list of new articles, exclusive content, collections, and special offers available at OTRCAT!

What is the OTRCAT refund policy?

Due to the nature of these recordings: once an order is placed, all sales are final. Our extensive collection is digitally transferred; any "flaws" in these 50-90 years old recordings are inherent in the original media and are not grounds for a refund.

What is the OTRCAT privacy policy?

Radio TubeOTRCAT is committed to protecting your privacy; we do not sell, trade, or rent your personal information to others. We only use the information we collect about you to process orders and to provide support and updates for our products.

OTRCAT respects your privacy. Your email address and personal information are never shared with a third party. By entering your email address in the "join mailing list" or "checkout" form, you agree to sign up for the free OTRCAT email newsletter which you can unsubscribed at any time.

To protect consumer information, we use a secure server for collecting personal and credit card information. The secure server layer (SSL) encrypts (scrambles) all of the information you enter before it is transmitted. For additional security, credit card information is not stored locally (only passed encrypted to the credit card processor). All customer data we collect is protected against unauthorized access.

"Cookies" (which are small pieces of information that are temporarily stored by your browser on your computer's hard drive) are required for the OTRCAT shopping cart to function correctly.


Can I join the OTRCAT mailing list?

Yes! Simply fill out the form below to receive the old time radio newsletter with new collections, discounts and special offers:


OTRCAT respects your privacy, your email addresses and
personal information are never revealed to any third party.

How can I contact OTRCAT?

crouching otrcatIf you have any other questions, suggestions, or error reports, please email order@otrcat.com. You can also write to:

PO BOX 19234



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